I have a student going through our RtI process right now that I could use a little help with. His teacher is VERY concerned as the classroom teachers with this student before her have been. The student was nonverbal until the age of 5. (He's now 9). He currently is on an IEP for speech/language and is now very verbal. He has a hard time working with other students and generall prefers to be alone in structured and unstructured situations. He often gets fixated on one thing and can't let it go. He is obsessed with legos. He also spends much of his class time tearing up tissues or breaking apart pencils. He doesn't respond to social cues well, but we're unsure if thats because he can't or just that he doesn't want to. So some things point to autism but others do not. For example, he doesn't mind schedule or routine changes (something I'd always learned was a big part of autism spectrum disorders). He also spends much of his time pretending to be a pirate or different animals. He'll say "I'm a lion!" and will literally be crawling around on the floor of the classroom roaring- something thats obviously pretty socially unacceptable at his age. Our school psych says that anyone on the autism spectrum will not be able to pretend play on any level as they are in fact very literal. I'd learned that as well- but are there ever exceptions? I'm getting a lot of pressure from my school to look into autism spectrum for this student- especially taking the nonverbal for 5 years thing into consideration. Part of me though thinks maybe he's just a "different" kid and he doesn't really have a disability perse. This student has been tested for emotional disability and adhd before and did not qualify for either. And with the pretend play thing, the psych is pretty much refusing to move forward on this- any advice?